Experience a Motorcycle Accident Injury? Here’s What to Do Next


It’s not hard to see why many people enjoy the feeling of riding on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the very qualities that make motorcycles enjoyable also contribute to their vulnerability on the road. In the United States, motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities occur with alarming frequency. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash. It’s estimated that over 80,000 accidents on the road involve motorcycles every year.

These statistics highlight the critical importance of understanding what causes motorcycle accidents, the most common types of injuries, and what you should do if you or a loved one has been involved in an accident while riding.

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Driver negligence and recklessness can cause an accident anytime, anywhere. Motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous because of the high chance of catastrophic injury. To protect yourself while on the road, it’s important to know that some causes are more common than others.

These are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Left-Turn Collisions: These occur when a vehicle makes a left turn and collides with a motorcycle going straight through an intersection. These are especially dangerous because the turning driver either does not see the motorcyclist or misjudges their speed. There is no more dangerous time for a person on a motorcycle.
  • Lane Splitting: Also known as filtering, lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving cars, usually in traffic jams. The proximity to cars and reduced space to maneuver increases crash risks. Keep in mind that lane splitting is not legal in New Jersey. 
  • Speeding and Alcohol Use: Both factors significantly contribute to motorcycle accidents. High speeds reduce reaction time, and alcohol impairs judgment and motor skills.
  • Collisions with Fixed Objects: Motorcyclists colliding with poles, guardrails, or any stationary objects constitute a significant portion of fatal crashes.
  • Road Hazards: Potholes, uneven lanes, and slippery surfaces are more dangerous for motorcycles than four-wheeled vehicles due to stability issues. City and state governments are responsible for keeping roads in good repair, so they can be held liable if you’re injured because of a road hazard.
  • Following Too Closely: Many drivers don’t understand that the stopping power of a motorcycle is much greater than a car, meaning it takes far less distance to stop. This leads to a lot of rear-end accidents every year.

The Most Common Injuries Sustained by Motorcycle Operators

The injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents range from mild to fatal, and many are catastrophic. The most common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: Even with helmet use, motorcyclists can suffer from concussions or severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). 
  • Road Rash: Sliding across the pavement can peel away layers of clothing and skin, leading to severe abrasions. 
  • Breaks and Fractures: Bones in the legs, arms, and shoulders are particularly vulnerable to fractures in motorcycle accidents. These can include the femur, tibia, ulna, humerus, and radius. 
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These catastrophic injuries can lead to partial or complete paralysis, which will significantly impact your quality of life. 
  • Burns: Severe burns can occur in the event of gas leaks and/or spills that lead to fires. 
  • Death: Unfortunately, fatalities are all too common in motorcycle crashes. 

What to Do If You’re Involved in a Motorcycle Accident in New Jersey

If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in New Jersey, you do have recourse and can be compensated for your injuries. To protect yourself and your chances of winning a motorcycle accident case, it’s important to take certain steps after an accident:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you believe you’re unharmed, internal injuries may not be immediately apparent. This step isn’t only to protect your health; medical records are extremely useful in court cases and can be pivotal in getting compensated for your injuries. 
  • Report the Accident: Contact the police as soon as possible after the accident so that they can file a report. This will be crucial for any insurance claims or legal action you have in your case. 
  • Gather Evidence: Take as many photos of the scene, your injuries, and damage as possible. If you can’t, have someone do it for you. It’s also important to collect contact information from witnesses of the accident. If you work with a motorcycle accident attorney, they will be able to help you with this part of your case. 
  • Contact Your Insurance Company: Inform them of the accident but be cautious about providing statements until you’ve spoken with an attorney. If you are contacted by the insurance company of the person who hit you, do not accept any compensation from them. 
  • Consult a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer: An attorney will know how to handle your accident claim and proceed with your case.

Important Laws for Motorcycle Accidents in New Jersey

New Jersey has specific laws that could impact a motorcycle accident case, including:

  • Helmet Law: New Jersey requires all motorcycle operators and passengers to wear an approved helmet, which can influence liability and damages in an accident case. 
  • Comparative Negligence: New Jersey follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule, meaning you can still recover damages even if you’re partially at fault (if your responsibility is below 50%). 
  • Lane Splitting: Keep in mind that lane splitting is not legal in New Jersey and can impact your case.

Work with the Right Personal Injury Attorney on Your Motorcycle Accident Case

Navigating the aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow can help you evaluate your case and help you understand your legal options. We’ll do everything from investigating your accident to collecting evidence that can build a strong case. We’ll even negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation for your injuries. If a settlement isn’t possible, one of our experienced trial lawyers will aggressively represent you in court.

The path to recovery after a motorcycle accident can be long and fraught with challenges, but there is hope for your future. If you or a loved one has been involved in a catastrophic motorcycle accident in New Jersey, contact Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow today to schedule a free case consultation.